Overcoming the Stigma Surrounding Hearing Loss
Did you know that, according to Statistics Canada, as many as 54% of Canadians over the age of 40 have some sort of hearing loss? Despite this number, an expert from the University of Alberta estimates that about 80% of Canadians who know they would benefit from hearing aids aren’t using them. Unfortunately, the stigmatization of hearing loss plays a role in this phenomenon.
Why hearing loss is stigmatized
Some people mistakenly associate the inattention, difficulty remembering, and other effects of hearing loss with mental problems or cognitive decline. Consequently, they may try to cover up or ignore the problem and won’t take the steps necessary to find a solution.
Similarly, many people incorrectly assume that hearing loss only occurs among seniors. Consequently, they may ignore their hearing impairment for fear that they appear to be older than they are. In fact, hearing loss affects people of all ages and can be the result of environmental factors as well as age.
The solution is also stigmatized
Hearing aids offer a dependable solution to hearing loss, but the devices are as stigmatized as the problem. Many people are reluctant to wear them, despite the fact that they can dramatically improve their quality of life. One common reason for this has to do with concern that the hearing aids may be noticeable. Some people are concerned that hearing aids will make them look and feel older than they are.
However, modern hearing aids are significantly smaller than those of decades past. In fact, many are so small that they can’t be detected by the casual observer.
Advancement in hearing aid technology
In addition to being smaller than their predecessors, modern hearing aids have a number of features that are worth noting. One key improvement is that instead of amplifying all sounds equally as old hearing aids did, new ones are able to minimize background noise while simultaneously improving the quality of what the listener is concentrated on.
Another advancement to be aware of is that hearing aids are now digitally connected devices. In fact, today’s hearing aids allow users to stream audio from their mobile device and control their settings by a smartphone app.
Audiology clinics in Alberta
Don’t let your hearing impairment limit you. Hearing aids can help you make out what people are saying when they speak and discern the notes in your favourite piece of music. Visit the experts at Soundwave Hearing for hearing testing. Contact us today to schedule an appointment for yourself, your children, or parent at one at our Calgary, Lethbridge, High River or Grande Prairie clinic.
All the blogs are reviewed and edited by our clinic's lead audiologist, Dr. Anne Wooliams. Dr. Woolliams is an experienced audiologist specialized in pediatric audiology, auditory processing, and tinnitus/sound sensitivity therapy. She is dedicated to providing top-notch hearing care and helping her clients improve their language and communication abilities. Dr. Woolliams' expertise in literature and linguistics, combined with her passion for helping people improve their language and communication, make her an incredibly valuable asset in the field of audiology. Learn more about Dr. Woolliams.